The Rev. Rob Fuquay, senior pastor of St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis, and his wife, Susan Fuquay delivered the message –“Vision for a Life and World-Changing Community” – during the Friday morning, June 7 Bible Study focused on the book of Nehemiah.
Rob stated that a vision begins with a passion for those who are hurting. In the case of Nehemiah in Nehemiah 1: 1-4, he felt a passion for the people of Jerusalem, who were facing harm since the walls of Jerusalem were leveled. After hearing this news, Nehemiah wept, showing his passion for those hurting. The United Methodist Church came together after the economic downfall to start pulling together resources and serving those hurting in our communities. Like Nehemiah, The United Methodist Church showed its passion for others.
According to Rob, others should be our calling. To include others in the vision, it is necessary for us to be with them. In Nehemiah 2:11-13, Nehemiah goes to inspect Jerusalem’s broken walls. Such as Nehemiah examined the walls for himself, Rob encouraged pastors to inspect their churches when creating a vision for transformation. He defined vision as “a picture of God’s preferred future, jump into a plan, and look for everyone in the church to have a part”.
Like Nehemiah who faced opposition to rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah 4:1-2, those who make transformations in churches will face opposition, however, in order to give hope to humanity through the changes, the opposition needs to be faced. Rob believes that the future of the church is in the hands of the lay leaders and clergy. He ended his message with the charge – “Will you be a Nehemiah in your community?”
Susan Fuquay first shared her driving question of ministry with the audience: “How do we help people in a very practical way grow in their Christian faith and find true transformation in Christ?” According to studies, the most powerful Christian practice is reflection in Scripture. Susan has pinpointed two paths for this transformation: small groups and Disciple Bible Study.
Susan believes small groups are a catalyst for transformation, because of the community component. Those involved with a small group were more likely to become daily Bible readers. When creating small groups, Susan advised having multiple types of groups to appeal to as many people as possible. Susan is a firm believer of the Disciple Bible Study, even serving as a national trainer earlier in her ministry. However, she realized people no longer sign up for the traditional study because they no longer had the time to participate in the 34-week study.
She helped develop the Disciple Fast Track with a reduced version with new videos and features. The fast track is 24-weeks long, but the participants still read about 75 percent of the Bible at home.
For more information about the Disciple Fast Track, email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a training event for those interested in the Disciple Fast Track on Friday, August 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.